Providence Health & Services Alaska in Kodiak will hold its first Amblin’ for Alzheimer’s walk this month to fund local education and support for Alzheimer’s disease.
Carlie Franz, Providence Kodiak marketing and communications specialist, says the money will go towards Anchorage-based Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, which sends representatives down to Kodiak to do outreach. One activity it provides is a dementia virtual tour.
“It’s pretty interesting. You sort of go through this maze if you will, and you’re wearing these glasses, and you have these earmuffs on so you can’t see, and you can’t really hear that well and, basically, you’re set to do all these tasks, and it gives you an idea of what somebody with dementia or Alzheimer’s goes through, and the confusion and the disorientation that they suffer through.”
Franz says the money will also go towards a developing support group for the families of those affected by Alzheimer’s. She says in rural places with limited resources, like Kodiak, family members often become caregivers in lieu of professionals.
“They’re the ones that are helping them dress and bathe and feed, and all the things that most of us take for granted that we can do for ourselves, but for families who are dealing with this disease, there’s a lot of frustration, a lot of confusion, a lot of guilt, a lot of just not knowing what the right answers are.”
She says the monthly support group would provide empathy and advice through a circle of people with similar experiences.
Franz says the funds from the upcoming walk will all go to Kodiak-based initiatives like that one. Amblin’ for Alzheimer’s will be Saturday, June 18 at Woody Way Field from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the entry fee is $25 dollars per person. Walkers may also take part in teams. To find out more and to register, go to Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska.